Workplace shootings are rare but devastating events that can happen at random. While it’s difficult to predict when and where the next shooting will occur, there are a few things we know about these events that can provide general guidance to mitigate their severity—and prevent them in the first place:
4 Reasons Your Business Should Be Prepared for Active Shootings
1) Most mass shootings happen in a business setting.
In a report analyzing mass shootings from 2000 to 2018, the FBI found that 44% of incidents happened in a place of commerce—more than any other setting. Businesses often create emergency action plans in case of a tornado, fire, or other natural disaster. They should also be developing active shooter plans. Combined with protective technology, these plans can help businesses prepare and keep people safe—especially now as stores, restaurants, and offices reopen, and as people begin returning to normal routines.
2) A majority of shooters are NOT employees.
It’s possible that a disgruntled employee will indicate they’re contemplating violence—but threats are more likely to come from outside your organization.
In an analysis of 73 shooting incidents that took place in a commerce setting, the Society of Human Resource Managers (SHRM) found that the majority of shooters were never employed at the shooting location. That means looking for “warning signs” among employees won’t be enough to protect your business.
To prepare for a shooting event, businesses should consider how shooters might gain access to their space and how to impede an armed individual from entering the building in the first place.
3) The cost to invest in safety precautions pales in comparison to the costs of active shooter events.
Active shooter events create incalculable losses, not only to human life, but to a business’s finances and reputation as well. In some cases, a shooting event is all it takes to permanently shutter even well-loved and established businesses.
According to Insurance Business Magazine, many of the costs following active shooter events are unpredictable. Not only do you have damage to property to contend with, there may also be costs to replace employees who quit after an incident, you could see sharp declines in productivity among workers, and you can almost guarantee a reduction in traffic and sales as customers feel uneasy resuming business.
Tighter, more detailed protocols and investments in security measures can help both staff and customers feel better protected. In the event a shooting does occur, a swift, effective response will be less likely to erode trust in your business.
4) Seconds make a difference.
According to an FBI report , nearly 70% of active shooting events ended in five minutes or less, with nearly 37% ending in two minutes or less.
A gunman armed with a semiautomatic rifle can create widespread devastation in a matter of seconds. Too often, security investments don’t address this reality. Fired weapon detection systems can add another layer of insight, but work only after weapons are discharged.
Surveillance spending has exceeded inflation for decades, yet the vast majority of systems are unmonitored and used for after-the-fact forensics. Businesses that have security personnel task them with watching an unmanageable number of cameras at once. Video fatigue, tunnel vision and other normal maladies set in, making guards increasingly likely to miss important cues.
Smarter Solutions Are Needed
When it comes to the very real threat of workplace shootings, it’s critical to have an approach that is always prepared for the unexpected—one that can’t get distracted, one that allows for the fastest possible response, and one that’s affordable. Advancements in Artificial Intelligence (AI) make this possible.
When used as part of a layered security strategy, advanced detection software, like the IntelliSee AI risk mitigation platform, can dramatically improve the safety of your business and its people. By autonomously monitoring live surveillance feeds, technology can identify risks and threats 24/7/365 without getting distracted or fatigued. IntelliSee can detect drawn guns before a potential shooter enters a building or before the weapon is fired, saving valuable time when seconds can be the difference between an incident and a tragedy.
Immediate, flexible, and customizable alerts notify personnel and other security systems to provide the situational awareness needed in potentially chaotic situations. These approaches can also trigger actions like lockdown procedures to stop the gunman before they’re able to gain entry. By using AI to perform the mundane task of monitoring and detecting threats, personnel can be better utilized responding to threats—not searching for them.
A Comprehensive Strategy Yields Comprehensive Benefits
With IntelliSee’s comprehensive risk mitigation platform, businesses investing in their active shooter prevention reap other benefits as well. For instance, IntelliSee can detect additional risks to safety, such as common slip and fall hazards, trespassers, no-shows, and more.
IntelliSee’s capabilities are constantly evolving and expanding so your business can continue to see an increased return on investment as new risk detection modules are added to the platform. Given the low incidence rate yet incredibly high severity of a shooting event, covering a broad set of risks and threats through a single platform helps address the pragmatic realities of protecting your organization.
Protect What Matters Most
While it may be impossible to predict the next active shooter event, that doesn’t mean you can’t prepare. The faster you can detect a threat, the faster you can respond to it, and the more likely your business will be to recover from a worst-case scenario. Doing so not only protects the continuity of your business—it protects your people and those they serve.
Want to learn more about how IntelliSee can protect what matters most to your business? Click here to get in touch with a representative.